Monsignor Vincent Foy

On Gregory Baum - Msgr Foy responds to recent Catholic media fawning over dissident Gregory Baum

Monsignor Vincent Foy
By Monsignor Vincent Foy
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Editor’s Note: This article was received unsolicited from famous Canadian priest, canon lawyer, former head of the Toronto archdiosecan marriage tribunal and outspoken defender of the Church’s moral teachings, Msgr. Vincent Foy. Recent laudatory, uncritical quoting of Canada’s leading dissident former priest, Gregory Baum, in Canadian Catholic media, spurred the Msgr. to write this article and send it to LifeSiteNews. LSN gladly publishes articles from this great, now 96-year-old priest scholar, still writing in defense of the Catholic Church’s moral teachings.

The intention of this article is to protect the faithful from being deceived.

Recently there has been a flurry of references to Gregory Baum, all of them laudatory. An article by Gregory Baum entitled “Vatican II - The Church in dialogue” appeared in the January-February issue if the Scarboro Missions magazine. This article is riddled with false doctrine.

None of these references make mention of the theological errors of Gregory Baum, yet he has done more than any person to harm the Church in Canada in my opinion. His Marxist background and activities are described in detail in a four-page bulletin “Herald of Freedom” April 6, 1974. It is entitled “Rev. Gregory Baum - Canada’s Marxist Pope.” In 1996, in a failed attempt to prevent his talk at the Newman Centre of the University of Toronto, I compiled a fourteen-page list of some of his errors entitled “Notes on Gregory Baum.”

It would take a large book to list and describe the errors and misconduct of Gregory Baum. Here I mention a few of them; there are many others.

Contraception

A focal point of Baum’s efforts was in opposition to the teaching of the Church against contraception. In 1964, Herder and Herder published the book “Contraception and Holiness.” It was presented as a “balanced perceptive declaration of Christian dissent”. Among the contributors were three professors of St. Michael’s College in Toronto: Gregory Baum O.S.A., Stanley Kutz C.S.B. (an admitted homosexual who later left the priesthood) and Leslie Dewart, an atheist. An article reporting an interview with Gregory Baum was printed in the Toronto Globe and Mail of April 9, 1966. It was entitled “Catholics May Use Contraceptives Now.” A year later Baum said that even if the Pope came out against contraception his decision would be irrelevant (Globe and Mail, 1967). 

After the Pope’s encyclical Humanae Vitae reiterated the Church’s condemnation of contraception in 1968, Baum was like a whirling dervish in his hyperactivity against the encyclical. He spoke in Canada and in the United States. On August 1, 1968, the Globe and Mail had a feature article by him “Catholics May Follow their Conscience”. In the August 23 issue of the US Catholic Weekly Commonweal magazine, there was his article “The Right to Dissent”. The September issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review carried his “The New Encyclical on Contraception” where he attacked the Pope for going against the experience of vast numbers of Catholics and the witness of other Christian churches.

Homosexuality

Gregory Baum openly advocated same-sex “marriage”. In Commonweal for February 15, 1974, he wrote an article on homosexuality in which he declared that Catholic teaching on homosexuality would change and embrace homosexuality within a few years. Homosexual activists used this article as a handout for almost two decades throughout North America. In speaking to Dignity and other homosexual groups, he encouraged them to remain in the Church but to work for a change in the Church’s teaching.

Devotion to Mary

In the early sixties, I attended a dinner at Osgoode Hall under the auspices of the Catholic Lawyers Guild. Gregory Baum spoke on the exaggerated “Cultus” of Mary in the Catholic Church. He stated that there was no evidence of devotion to Mary before the fourth century. At the time, I had been reading a section of the book “Mariology” edited by Juniper Carol, O.F.M. on the “The Origins of Marian Cult”. It gave numerous examples of devotion to Mary in the first three centuries. Mary herself proclaims in the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55): “All generations will call me blessed.” Baum discouraged recitation of the Rosary.

Dissent and Rejection of Authority

Msgr. George Kelly wrote in “The Battle for the American Church” pp. 448-9: “Gregory Baum argued that Rome’s grip on the Church can be loosened by careful violation of law. In Baum’s view freedom from Rome’s law can be obtained by seizing it in the knowledge that violations will go unpunished.”

The Priesthood

I conducted about twenty of the first priest-laicization processes for the Archdiocese of Toronto. A number of priests said that they were encouraged to leave the priesthood by Gregory Baum. He promoted the concept of a temporary or “existential” priesthood. In an article printed in the Toronto Star of April 23, 1966, Baum stated that he was not alarmed at the large numbers of priests and religious departing from their vocations. He said “By assigning the laity a higher place in the Christian Church, the whole matter of the role of the clergy has to be re-thought.”

A Report to the Archbishop

I was pastor of St. John’s Church on Kingston Rd in Toronto in 1966. In the parish there was a convent of Notre Dame Sisters. I received a phone call from the Superior of the Notre Dame Sisters, who was in Ottawa. She told me that one of the younger Sisters, studying at St. Michael’s College, was obliged by Gregory Baum to attend a weekend retreat near Orangeville. This was before the mitigation of Friday abstinence. Meat was served on Friday evening. “The Sister said ‘Fr. Baum, this is Friday and you are serving meat’. He replied ‘Sister, here I am Pope. Eat your meat!’ In the course of the weekend, he encouraged immoral familiarities between male and female religious. You must report this to Archbishop Pocock”. I suggested that she report this to the Apostolic Delegate in Ottawa. “No,” she replied “Sister is in your parish and you should report it”.

The next day I made a report on the matter to Archbishop Pocock. He threw up his hands and said “What can I do?” I said he could suspend Baum. He did nothing and allowed Baum to continue teaching at St. Michael’s College for another nine years.

Suspension and Excommunication

When the Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics was issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 29, 1975, Gregory Baum criticized it severely. He said “The concept of sex only within marriage was no longer adequate. Even if marriage is the ideal, this does not mean there is no responsible context of sexual relations for mature single people, the widowed and the divorced.” In response, Archbishop Pocock suspended Baum from hearing confessions.

In the issue for January 14, 1978, the Catholic Register reported that “Gregory Baum, noted Canadian theologian and outspoken critic of the Church, married a former nun in a private ceremony recently in Montreal… the bride is Shirley Flynn, who left her religious order about fifteen years ago.” According to Canon 2388 of the Code of Canon Law in force at that time, Gregory Baum was automatically excommunicated.

It is difficult to understand why articles by Baum should continue to appear in Catholic periodicals; why he should be praised in others; why he should be invited to speak in Catholic institutions such as St. Paul’s University in Ottawa and why this arch-heretic should be highly praised in an interview given him recently by a Catholic priest currently posted on a website.

More articles by Msgr. Foy:

The betrayal of homosexuals

Canada’s Greatest Defender of Humanae Vitae Calls on Bishops to Reject Dissenting Document

Tragedy at Winnipeg

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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